Being newly graduated and unemployed, I've got a lot of time and potentially unwarranted optimism to think about what kind of life I might be about to embark upon. Like many new graduates, I at times have the sense that the world is my oyster, and I simply have to want a life in order to live it. As if we all have complete control over the process of bringing to fruition the life plans that we so idealistically design in our heads.
Then I remember how many applications I've sent out for, say, food writer/editor positions, and how few responses I've gotten to said applications (to date: zilch).
Nonetheless, humans are a relentlessly optimistic species, and the optimistic daydreams persist. Case in point, a few months ago, I was enamored with the notion of living a simple life in England, just knitting tea cozies and drinking tea all day. Maybe with Chopin nocturnes as the soundtrack to my life.
Somehow the part about being in England was very integral to the satisfaction I imagined I would derive from such a life. Why knitting tea cozies and drinking tea all day in my apartment in DC would not suffice in quite the same way perhaps says something about how objects can capture a sense of culture and association with a place. England completes the trifecta of tea cozies and tea in a way that DC doesn't.
Or maybe England's distance from my present life lends the romanticism of geographical escapism, the sense of "anywhere but here," that makes such a simple life more enticing.
Fast forward a few months, and I come across a recipe for the chocolate biscuit cake that so exemplified a British sensibility at the Royal Wedding. Clearly I needed to recreate this biscuit cake for myself.
In the process, I got to play out another little life fantasy of mine.
Graced with endless hours of free time and some great natural light, I spent the better part of an afternoon positioning my biscuits just so, working the macro function on my trusty little digital camera, and imagining what life might be like to do this every day.
Then I took one of my oh-so-British chocolate biscuit cakes (I ended up making lots of mini-cakes instead of one large one, since I didn't have the requisite size cake pan), sat down with a pot of tea and my newly completed tea cozy, and, after taking a few pictures...
...(okay, taking a lot of pictures), found a quite satisfactory sense of contentment.
Sure, these pictures might be a little sexier if I told you I had taken them while renting a flat in London, or Edinburgh, or staying in a cottage in the Welsh countryside. But, thanks to my stash of chocolate biscuit cakes (which hold up remarkably well in the fridge), I've found a way to "escape" to that simplistic, romantic little vision of life in England just about every other day this week, all while remaining in the good ole US of A.
Clearly I'm not accepting eating a bit of chocolate biscuit cake with some tea and a tea cozy as an acceptable replacement for being in England. But if I'm going to be stuck in DC anyway, there are worst ways to while away a few moments.